“Dirty Dancing” star Jennifer Gray has shared new details about the highly anticipated sequel to the beloved 1987 film.
The 62-year-old actress told Extra that audiences will see her reprise her role as ‘Baby Houseman’ Frances, adding that she will have “a few more years”.
“You’ll see other characters from the original,” Gray revealed.
The ‘Dancing With The Stars’ champ continued, “It’s tricky but also exciting.”
‘DIRTY DANCING’ STAR JENNIFER GRAY SAYS SHE BECAME ‘INVISIBLE’ AFTER SECOND NOSE JOB: ‘I WAS NOT ME ANYMORE’
Gray confirmed that the new film will be set in its original setting, the fictional Kellerman Station in the Catskill Mountains.
“You can count on him being at Kellerman, coming back to Kellerman,” she said.
Gray told the outlet that filming for the film is expected to begin in the spring.
The original film followed Baby, a young woman who spends the summer of 1963 on vacation with her family at Kellerman’s. While at the station, Baby falls in love with dance teacher Johnny Castle (late Patrick Swayze).
The film was critically acclaimed and became a box office success. Both Gray and Swayze earned Golden Globe nominations for their performances, and the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” won the Oscar and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
In the 35 years since its first release, “Dirty Dancing” has become a cultural phenomenon and an enduring classic. Its success led to a 2004 prequel “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” a 2017 TV movie, stage production, and FOX reality dance competition series.
In August 2020, Lionsgate announced that a sequel was in the works with Gray attached to star and produce. In May 2022, the studio hired director Jonathan Levine (“Long Shot,” “Warm Bodies”) to helm the project, also titled “Dirty Dancing,” per Deadline.
Levine co-wrote the screenplay with Elizabeth Chomko. The outlet also reported that the 1990s film “will be a coming-of-age romance centering on a young woman’s experience at summer camp, but Baby’s own journey will intertwine with this to create a multi-layered narrative”.
The filmmaker had also announced that the sequel would likely feature some familiar faces from the original.
“The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board,” he said. “She’s an invaluable collaborator. We’ll try to involve as many people from the original as necessary. We want to be respectful in every way.”
Although Swayze died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 57, Levine told Deadline that his character would be included in the follow-up film.
“Johnny is part of Baby’s journey through history,” he said. “This film exists in a dialogue with the original. We want to bring this story to a whole new generation.”
Levine added: “Having said that, Johnny’s absence is a huge part of the story, so it’s a coming of age story, but also a coming of age story for the character of Baby. somehow.
In February 2020, Gray confirmed that the role of Swayze would not be recast with another actor.
“All I can say is there’s no replacing someone who’s passed away – you never try to repeat something magical like that,” she said. at People magazine. “You’re just going for something different.”
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She expanded on her vision for the sequel in an interview with People last April. “I know in my heart that I’d like to give fans or a young, new audience an experience that would never replicate that, but has the same kind of underpinnings,” the ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ star said.
“People today think their identity is limited, the world has told them what it is,” Gray added. “But there are some people who can see other parts of you.”
“Dirty Dancing was a hit fairy tale, movie and formula, using dance as a metaphor to embody your energy and get out of your head, and out of your limiting belief systems.”
In June, Lionsgate announced that the sequel will be released on February 9, 2024.
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